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Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Richard Dowden
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Kurzbeschreibung

4. Mai 2009
Richard Dowden is perhaps our leading journalist of African affairs. Since first arriving in Idi Amin's Uganda in 1971 he has never stopped learning about and reporting on real Africans and the realities of life in Africa's many and varied lands. Like many young Westerners, he first went to Africa to 'save' it, but he stayed to learn from it. Africans taught him how to laugh and dance, how to tease but not command, how not to expect the truth and never to blurt it out, how to avoid danger, and how to be patient. Very, very patient. Such patience has served Dowden well, for he returns now from his decades-long journey among Africans with a report on their various ways and dreams, their priorities and pressures, that is far more revealing about the past, present and future of this fascinating and bewildering continent than any number of war stories or economic reports. Dowden combines a novelist's gift for atmosphere with the unblinking scholar's grasp of historical change to produce one of the most compelling and revealing accounts of modern sub-Saharan Africa yet. His experiences there required him to re-evaluate all he had been taught to believe, his landmark book enables its readers to see and understand this miraculous continent in a new light too.

Wird oft zusammen gekauft

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles + The State Of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence + Scramble for Africa
Preis für alle drei: EUR 42,45

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 576 Seiten
  • Verlag: Portobello Books (4. Mai 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 184627155X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846271557
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 90.568 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Kirkus," February 1, 2009, STARRED review"The director of the Royal African Society offers an ambitious, roundly informative and still intimate look at sub-Saharan Africa's turbulent road in the modern era. ...Dowden displays a deeply felt knowledge of the recent history of sub-Sahara Africa, and his suggestions for its future are well-informed and wise. A remarkably full-bodied and frank discussion of Africa's place in the world."

Synopsis

The finest living Africa correspondent delivers, after a lifetime's close observation of the miraculous continent, a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa.Dowden has now, after 35 years on the continent, written a memoiristic history of its peoples' experiences in the wake of the European withdrawal and the superpowers' arrival. He has been present at each of the continent's major crises and writes illuminatingly about them, but he is as passionate about the warmth, wisdom and joy he has encountered in peacetime, and the diversity of habits, attitudes and purposes to which he has been Britain's best witness. His book is no less than a benchmark publication on this most misunderstood and mishandled of continents. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis | Rückseite
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Contents 20. Dezember 2011
Format:Taschenbuch
The book is fantastic, it touches all major areas of the typical Africa. It is not a book full of negative stories of Africa.
I am an African myself, I have lived in Swaziland, Tanzania and Ghana. I have also worked in the area of development management, so I can identify with what is written.
I would recommend the book to development workers, there is a lot of food for thought...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great 9. Juli 2014
Format:Taschenbuch
One of the best comprehensive books about Africa that I've ever read and I've given it as a gift to 6 people already
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Charakterstudie eines kaum bekannten Kontinents 23. Oktober 2013
Format:Taschenbuch
In seinem Buch „Africa“ beschäftigt sich der britische Journalist Richard Dowden mit einem Kontinent, den er seit Jahrzehnten bereist und den die meisten von uns vor allem mit Armut, Krankheit und Krieg in Verbindung bringen. Diese dunkle Seite verschweigt Dowden nicht, aber – und das unterscheidet sein Buch von den meisten Medienberichten über Afrika – er fragt nach den tiefer liegenden Ursachen der afrikanischen Konflikte, schlägt Lösungen vor, und führt den Leser in die Geheimnisse des Kontinents und seiner Einwohner ein.

In das Buch fließen Artikel, Interviews und Notizen aus über 30 Jahren ein. Stellenweise wirkt es dadurch wie ein Flickenteppich, ein klar erkennbarer Leitfaden fehlt. Dowden wiederholt sich, und es ist nicht immer klar erkennbar, ob er gerade über die Vergangenheit oder die Gegenwart eines Landes schreibt. Die nach Ländern gegliederten Kapitel sind unterschiedlicher Qualität. In den besten erzählt Dowden seine persönlichen Erlebnisse. Hier taucht man mit ihm ein in eine Welt, die zugleich chaotisch und faszinierend, erschreckend und berauschend ist. Andere Kapitel enthalten lange Abhandlungen über Geschichte und Politik, die oft etwas trocken und verwirrend geraten. Darüber hinaus hat sich die Situation in einigen der von Dowden beschriebenen Ländern seit der Erstveröffentlichung 2008 stark verändert.

Daher sollte „Africa“ nicht als Geschichtsbuch gelesen werden, sondern als Charakterstudie eines kaum bekannten Kontinents. Und als solche funktioniert das Buch wunderbar. Wie konnten Diktatoren wie Idi Amin (Uganda) und Mobutu (Kongo) sich jahrzehntelang an der Macht halten und ihre Länder hemmungslos ausbeuten?
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  40 Rezensionen
60 von 63 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Concise introduction to a complex continent 18. März 2009
Von David Kobia - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is almost 600 pages long, and still feels like an abridged account of Africa. I actually thought it was pretty bold to call the book 'Africa' - like a little boy with a toy gun calling himself a cowboy, so I approached the book expecting to disparage it immediately. Having grown up in some of the countries written about in the book, I realized Dowden had actually lived through it enough to warrant telling the tale. I believe this book far outranks many of the history books on Africa, and should be required reading for all high school kids.

Post colonial Africa evokes different types of emotions depending on which side of the railway line you grew up on, so its easy to understand why descendants of the colonialists themselves might not find this an easy read. Dowden places a great deal of the blame for Africa's woes squarely on them and other factors like foreign aid. My opinion is biased because I tend to agree.

Those without any type of bias will find the book extremely fascinating. Discovering Africa through Dowden has left me feeling that I should make the same commitment and re-discover the beautiful continent of Africa.
25 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Comprehensive, Cohesive, and Steeped in Fact 30. März 2009
Von Tom Sawyer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is by far the most balanced analysis on the challenges faced by sub Saharan African societies. It is unpretentious in that the author confesses his limited exposure/ experience (in the few instances) where it matters and provides a dispassionate analysis of his specific experience before he projects those specific community/ country experiences onto the continent or rather the sub Saharan portion of Africa in general.

The writer obviously benefits from an extended exposure and dispassionate, unbiased discourse with intelligent indigenes which allows an in depth knowledge of both rural and urban circumstances (both historic & current) of diverse sub Sahara African countries.

The author also has the benefit of viewing and experiencing sub Sahara Africa extensively from his Anglo-Saxon value system and you can tell that the narrative is his way of rationalizing multifaceted influences and their projection on current circumstances.

Being that I am African myself and have lived in the US and UK for an extended period, as well as traveled and lived in several West, East, and Southern African countries, I agree with a lot of the inferences he draws.

The only problems I had were that some parts of the book feel like literally reading from his diary and the impression that the author is consciously or unconsciously magnanimous in discussing Britain's role in creating and bolstering a myriad of problems.

Based on the number of 30+ years sub Saharan Africans from East/West/ Central/Southern Africa, whom I have had the need to educate with regards to the source of SSA's woes, I think this book is a MUST HAVE for all sub Sahara Africans and should be recommended reading for all the hapless development professionals who wonder why and how their best efforts may actually be making a bad situation worse.

I must confess however that I stumbled across this book a couple of days ago while searching for Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo in the bookstore and I have hardly put it down since. I am currently on the 4th chapter (after 2 days), but this is a most compelling book, which I may likely buy more of, if only to give out as gifts in lieu of relentless questions I have to answer in my profession as a development finance practitioner focused on SSA.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen One of the better works on Africa 4. September 2009
Von Obi O. Emekekwue - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Richard Dowden draws on his extensive experience covering Africa as a journalist to write one of the most informative and, I might add, most accurate piece of work on the continent. He rightly points out that Africa is much more than the portrayals seen daily on the media where Africa is seen as a continent of perpetual conflict, wars, famine and other disasters and pestilence. Instead, he shows that it is also a vibrant continent where those brave enough to invest have earned unimaginable wealth; a continent witnessing some of the highest growth rates and a place where modern innovations like the mobile phone and the internet have transformed life in ways never anticipated. It is a pity that he continues the practice of separating Africa south of the Sahara from North Africa. Africa is a geographic entity that encompasses both the north and the south. He is, however, to be forgiven since most of his work had been in the sub-Saharan region.

I give the book four stars primarily because of the many typographical and editing errors I found. I also noted a number of factual errors that he might want to correct in future editions. On page 470, he writes that the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, overthrew Ibrahim Bagangida to become head of state after Babangida annulled the elections that he had organised. The reality is that after he annullled the elections, Babangida set up an Interim National Government headed by Ernest Shonekan. It was that Interim National Government which purportedly "handed" over power to Abacha.

Also, in page 472, Dowden, describes Beko Ransome Kuti as a human rights lawyer. Kuti, although a human rights activist, was no lawyer. He was a medical doctor.

Aside from these minor drawbacks, Mr. Dowden's book is perhaps the best read for a non-African trying to get a solid and unbiased understanding of the continent. He deserves to be commended for writing such an excellent boo.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Extraordinary African Insights 5. Dezember 2009
Von John Gibbs - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Many different perspectives of Africa are captured in Richard Dowden's remarkable book. Dowden first arrived in Africa in 1971, when he moved to Uganda as a school teacher, near the start of Idi Amin's reign. Uganda was just descending into the chaos and civil war which was to last for 15 years, and by the end of 1972 it was no longer safe for Dowden to remain. When he returned to Africa some years later, it was in a new role as a journalist.

The book discusses a broad range of Africa's "Big Men" who have treated their countries as a vehicle for personal enrichment on a massive scale, including Mobutu Sese Seko, who was Zaire's dictator for more than 30 years, Daniel arap Moi, who was Kenya's president for 24 years, Robert Mugabe, who has presided over Zimbabwe's economic decline over the past 20 years, and Nigeria's Sani Abacha and Olusegun Obasanjo, whose administrations have set new standards for absolute corruption.

The book covers the differing issues faced by numerous different African countries including Sudan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Somalia, Angola, Burundi and Rwanda. Dowden's writing shows a deep understanding of African attitudes to AIDS, the causes of poverty, reasons for failure of foreign aid, the opportunities and pitfalls of African engagement with China, and a host of other issues. This is one of the best available books on Africa.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Africa, the right name for the book 17. November 2009
Von Gunnar Sandborg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I lived 10 years in Nairobi, Kenya and travelled widely in Africa to 22 different African countries, in East Africa, South Africa, West Africa and North Africa, in the period 1953-1963.
I found it very difficult then to form an opinion about Africans, although I liked them very much, especially their hunour and laughter. I have met many of the Kenyan leaders, Kenyatta, Odinga Odinga, Tom Mboya and many more. I have long since accepted that they are as inteligent as we westerners are, and have many brilliant people. However I hate corruption in any form and never liked what I saw happening fairly soon after the colonial administrations left. The book by Richard Downden has helped me form an opinion. He has made me think about
what would have been african lifestyle and system if the colonial powers had not pressed them into our form of institutions and democracy, but rather have left them develop their own systems. He pointed our that the corrupt dictators were not necessarily the best of the africans, and often were outsiders.
I very much enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to anyone really intereted in Africa. The title "Africa", is very ambitious but justified as far as thie book is concerned.
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